Veon withdraws from GTH acquisition

Telecoms tower India NEW.jpg

Veon has withdrawn its offer to buy the assets of Global Telecom Holding in Pakistan and Bangladesh.

The falling Pakistani Rupee and the reaction from minority GTH shareholders, which suggest that approval would not have given, fuelled the decision.

The acquisition of the assets was announced back in July to improve Veon’s footprint in the emerging markets where the assets are located. The deal was to be financed by the sale of Veon’s €2.3 billion stake in Wind Tre to CK Hutchinson.

According to the rupee fell by 4% on Wednesday 10 October, reaching a record low as the company tackles its mounting debts.

However, Veon says it will continue to explore options to address its strategic relationship with GTH and its minority shareholders.

Back in April, Veon withdrew its offer to buy the remaining shares in GTH and at the time ruled out any plans to make any future offers. Veon currently owns a 57% stake in GTH, which operates networks in Algeria, Pakistan, North Korea and Bangladesh.

Only last month, Veon’s deal to sell its masts in Pakistan to Axiata for $940 million fell apart. The planned sale of 13,000 towers to Axiata did not head. Veon said: “The parties have not received all the regulatory approvals required for the transaction and the extended long-stop date of 14 September 2018 has now passed.”

Veon was hoping to sell the towers belonging to its Pakistan subsidiary PMCL – which operates as Jazz – to Axiata’s tower subsidiary Edotco, which itself boosted its tower portfolio last year by adding Tanzanite’s 700 towers in Pakistan for $90 million.